Underwater Pavilions: A Symbol and Catalyst for the Cause

A collaboration between Doug Aitken and Parley for the Oceans

Presented in partnership with MOCA Los Angeles



Underwater Pavilions is artist Doug Aitken’s large-scale installation and collaboration with Parley consisting of three temporary sculptures submerged beneath the water's surface. As a symbol and catalyst for the Parley Deep Space Program, the sculptures provide a portal into the marine realm that swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers can swim through and experience.

Merging the language of contemporary architecture, land art, and ocean awareness, the Underwater Pavilions are a living artwork with a vibrant ecosystem — one that invites the viewer to author a personal narrative in the exploration and protection of the oceans.

Underwater Pavilions was open to the public as a cultural destination in Avalon, California, from December 4, 2016 - January 31, 2017.  They will reopen soon, at a new location, in a new ocean.


Behind the scenes


“Conservation only works if you put beauty first. Nobody wants horror stories about destruction done to the ocean; first you have to fall in love with it.”

Cyrill Gutsch



“The moment the first pavilion entered the water, it stopped being a sculpture for me. It became this living system — constantly in flux, constantly changing, whether that’s the sea life entering it, the kelp pushing at it or swimmers interacting with it.”  

Doug Aitken



 Among the Pavilions visitors were nudibranch, a species of sea slug which hadn't been seen in the area for several years. Images: Michael Francisco





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